52 weeks of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: Week 4

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Ralph Jones
Dwayne Johnson The Rock


Generally speaking, even if he is recording an Instagram video in which his job is to be humble, The Rock cannot help but exude an enviable confidence and charisma. The Rock, after all, has good reason to be self-assured to an almost superhuman extent. He is, as we know, The Rock.



Having watched dozens of videos of The Rock’s in the name of research, I was particularly interested in one he recorded on 24 January for a wounded county deputy by the name of Jeff Pelle. In this footage there is something less sure-footed about The Rock’s performance. 

Usually, if slightly lost for words, he is able to cover it up by laughing his big laugh or filling the space with a look, a smile, or a move of the camera. He is usually in control, never awkward.

This time was a little different. In the video he stumbles over his words in the first few seconds.

When offering an inspirational quote to help Pelle in his recovery, he is almost apologetic: introducing it, he says, “But it was something like, you know…” - reminiscent of someone half-heartedly telling a joke to accompany a lacklustre Powerpoint presentation, not of one of the most inspirational speakers on God’s green Earth. After the quote, he basically apologises for passing it on in the first place.

There are many more ‘um’s and ‘ah’s than in his other videos, betraying the very real possibility that this is a task about which the big man feels a little less comfortable. He also thrusts his neck forward a couple of times as the video draws to a close, a seemingly nervous tic that looks designed to restore his confidence. At the end of the video he even talks about the weather – the refuge of the socially awkward.

Whatever the reason for these micro-displays of nervousness - perhaps a combination of the sensitive nature of the message and the fact that he had ceded control of the camera to someone else - it’s nice to glimpse a little vulnerability behind the façade; a chink in the armour. It’s nice to know The Rock isn’t always a battering ram of unassailable self-esteem. It’s nice, for once, to understand that yes… yes… he’s one of us. Sometimes, even The Rock talks about the weather.

(Main image: Rex)


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Ralph Jones

Ralph Jones is a staff writer for ShortList magazine. In April 2015 he won a seven-foot throne of dildos but he’d rather you didn’t mention it. He performs sketch comedy and is on Twitter at @OhHiRalphJones

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